What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness offers us the opportunity to be more present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing in the moment — free from distraction or judgment, with an attitude of care, curiosity and openness. It means being aware of our thoughts, feelings and moods without getting too caught up in them. This is a skill we all desperately need as we face uncertain times ahead, and all deal with extremely difficult emotions, support each other, as well staying focused and present and productive whilst working from home.
Mindfulness has been researched scientifically for over 35 years and has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, among many other things, and has strong positive correlations with wellbeing, leadership and performance.
Mindfulness is not a concept or theory, it’s a practice: a way to strengthen your ability to be more mindful everyday. The more frequently you work out at the gym, the more physical benefits you notice. Think of mindfulness the same way – a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it. It may take a while to start to notice any benefits from your practice, so don’t give up after a few days! Stick at it daily for at least two weeks to start with.
Mindfulness meditation practices
We have a selection of recordings for beginners to listen along to from kiwi MBSR Trained Mindfulness teachers.
Normally we would work with participants on a Mindfulness programme over a number of weeks, however we recognise right now that may not be possible, so our hope is that these offer you something helpful through these challenging times.
The main thing to remember is: unlike signing up for a mindfulness programme where you are provided with lots of support and encouragement, you will need to keep yourself motivated each day to practice some form of mindfulness meditation. There are lots to choose from below, as well as some of our top app selections.
We will continue to add to this collection – so keep checking in from time to time.
Meditation practices for settling yourself
These short mindfulness practices are a way you settle and ground yourself in the present moment. They also invite you to explore any difficulties you may be experiencing with an attitude of curiosity, openness and care.
Breathing Space Practice - Betsy (4 Min)
STOP Practice - Debbie (7 Min)
Working with difficulty using R.A.I.N (9 Min)
Meditation practices for care and self compassion
These two practices that are based on the Mindful Self Compassion Programme, are designed to cultivate increased care and self compassion during difficult times.
Self Compassionate Break - Debbie (7min)
Soothing Breath Practice (10 min)
Meditation practices for anchoring your attention
The ability to be able to anchor our attention on the breath and body, even for just a moment creates a resting place from the busyness of our lives. Notice the coming and going of thoughts, they are part of the practice too.
Anchoring your Attention practice - Debbie (14 Minutes)
Breath & Body - Dianne (16m)
Meditation practice for kindness
Diannes befriending practice asks us to deliberately offer kindness and care to ourselves and others right now. Don’t worry about trying to make a certain feeling happen, just engage with an attitude of curiosity and openness and as you practice this over time, see what you notice.
Befriending Practice - Dianne (18m)
Body scan practices
The Body Scan Practice is a foundation practice in the MBSR and MBCT training programme. If you have not experienced a mindfulness based body scan before, take a few minutes to listen to Jans intro first to get some helpful guidelines.
Introduction to the Body Scan Practice - Jan (4 min)
Body scan Practice - Jan (20 min)
Body scan Practice - Debbie (13 min)
10 Self-Compassion Practices for COVID-19 and related audio meditations from The Center for Mindful Self-Compassion
COVID-19 Well-Being Toolkit and Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Healthy Minds - list of credible articles and resources
Coronavirus Sanity Guide from Ten Percent Happier - interesting podcast and great free COVID-19 related meditations
COVID-19 & Mindfulness: Resources for health and care staff from The Mindfulness Institute - fantastic resource jam packed with loads of great material
Free Online Mindfulness Sessions & Introductory Course from the Oxford Mindfulness Centre
Online practices by The Center for Mindfulness, UC SAN DIEGO SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
There are lots of books on the topic here are some of our top picks
Mindfulness: A practical guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World (Book & CD & App): Mark Williams & Danny Penman
Modern Mindfulness: Rohan Gunatillake
Altered Traits, Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body: Daniel Goleman, Richard J Davidson
The Mindful Way through Depression: Mark Williams
Mindful Drinking How Cutting Down Can Change Your Life: Rosamund Dean
There are dozens of apps on the market these days. Here is a small selection of ones to try out:
If you would like any other suggestions or help, we would love to hear from you! Email us here.
Join our BlueSkyMinds community
If you would like to stay up to date with the latest insights and research from the world of science-based mindfulness in business - you can sign up to our BSM community updates email HERE
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